Vendor Tech Talk

Jan 28 2014   3:03PM GMT

3 Tech Trends for 2014

Posted by: Dr. Werner Hopf

Look for Big Data to get more strategic and more important in 2014. With the New Year in full swing, leading industry prognosticators are predicting that IT spending on Big Data will continue to grow as even more businesses continue their quest to gain a competitive edge through new-found insights enabled by Big Data. What level will this spending reach? How will these efforts affect the distribution of power in the C-Suite? And most importantly: where are the areas of Big Data that are truly impacting cash flow and the all-important bottom line?

Big Data is Getting Bigger

Managing data for insights and balancing its value with the Total Cost of Ownership associated with maintenance, storage and analysis is fast getting more attention.

IDC predicts spending of more than $14 billion on big data technologies and services in 2014. That’s a 30 percent year-over-year jump. The research group is also predicting explosive growth in Big Data analytics services, with the number of providers expected to triple in three years. 2014 spending on these services will exceed $5 billion, growing by 21 percent

This year the cloud will play an even bigger role, with IDC predicting a race to develop cloud-based platforms capable of streaming data in real time. There will be increased use by enterprises of externally-sourced data and applications, too. IDC predicts spending on cloud services and the technology to enable these services “will surge by 25 percent in 2014, reaching over $100 billion.”  There will also be an increase in cloud-based datacenters, according to IDC.

C-Suite Alignment

A big point of discussion across the industry over the last year has been the increased involvement of the CFO in technology purchase decisions. Not only is this individual signing off on these expenditures, but often times, it is now the CFO driving the implementation of new technologies and services as part of a strategic plan to rein in costs and free up cash flow.

Further, we’re witnessing increased alignment between these executive functions. They are building stronger relationships and cooperating to accomplish IT projects that implement new technologies which reach the next level of cost reductions and enhance organizational agility.

Growing the Bottom Line

A grand promise of Big Data continues to be the ability to unlock new levels of predictive insights that will drive sales and increase revenues. It’s a costly crusade that has yielded varying results to date, but what more executives are now realizing is that there are other opportunities to grow the bottom line related to data.

Business Processes: One successful strategy is a more harmonized approach for optimizing business processes such as accounts payable and accounts receivable which result in significant financial and productivity benefits. For example, by leveraging a single end-to-end solution built to function within the SAP ecosystem, enterprises can not only maximize their existing technological investment in SAP solutions, but also reduce the lifecycle of invoices, gain faster access to cash and improve audit responsiveness. This reduces late payments and penalties, helps increase cash flows, and mitigate risk.

Data Volume Management: The thought goes that the more data one collects, the more material it will have to unlock insights and trends. With next generation in-memory databases such as SAP HANA, it’s now possible to process and analyze more data in real-time than ever before. However, storing all that data – particularly on SAP HANA — can be a costly endeavor. In fact, one lesson quickly learned by early adopters is that a complementary data volume management strategy such as Nearline Storage and archiving is needed to achieve a return on investment. We helped one customer implement Nearline Storage on SAP HANA and reduce its ROI from more than 15 years – but probably never with maintenance and upgrade expenses – to just two and a half years!. Even better, Nearline Storage is not restricted to SAP HANA. It can be deployed on existing SAP platforms to also achieve dramatic cost-savings while providing transparent and seamless access to stored data.

Extended User Interfaces: SAP is also testing the waters with a new approach to link the old with the new by delivering extended user interfaces to those not ready to upgrade their current SAP platform to SAP HANA. Dolphin is presently just one of ten certified SAP partners (out of more than 12,000!) to work on the SAP NetWeaver Gateway. This allows SAP customers to give their current system interfaces a facelift with new, modern interfaces and web application mobility that allow for better performance, which in turns means more productivity.

Is your organization leaving cash on the table with clunky Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivable processes or is your TCO spiraling? Both?  What Big Data initiatives do you have planned for 2014? What are your predictions for Big Data this year?

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